Monday, the day I had top surgery, did not start off auspiciously. The car service called a half hour before the scheduled pick-up time to tell me they were running late. The car would arrive at my apartment after I was due at the hospital. We canceled the car and went down to Hudson St. and hailed a yellow taxi. The driver refused to take us to The Bronx. He claimed he didn’t know how to get there and his GPS was broken. We hailed another taxi. The driver punched the address into his phone and started driving. We arrived on time. I gave him a good tip.
Montefiore Hospital’s day surgery unit is in a huge building with many corridors. We got lost. We wanted the silver zone and kept ending up in the purple zone. A security guard led us to the day surgery registration area. I signed in and got changed into my gown and waited for Dr. Weiss to come by for the final mark up.
He arrived and apologized. He forgot to bring his measuring tape. He ran off to get another. I imagined him at the Dress Barn begging for a spare tape “Hurry up, I’ve got a patient on the table.” I have no idea where he found it, but, after what seemed like a long time, he reappeared with a new one. He looked at his notes, measured and marked and measured and marked. He stepped back, admired his work, and then we walked into the operating room.
I woke up in the recovery room, bandaged and cold. I was not in pain; a little discomfort from the drains, some itching and chaffing from the bandages. Someone brought me coffee and graham crackers. Donna came in to see me.
The nurse showed us how to empty the drains, and told me not to lift anything heavy. Then a sweet guy wheeled me down to the front door, where there was a line of taxis waiting to take us back to Manhattan.
The results were obscured by the packing, padding, and bandages. When the bandages slipped down I tried to move them back in place. I had a peek of what I finally recognized as my nipple. It looked high and outside. And small and dark. And not what I expected. I didn’t say anything to anyone, because I couldn’t see it properly. Perspective is everything.
On Friday I saw Dr. Weiss. He took off the bandages and removed the drains. He told me I looked great. His instructions were to put gauze on the nipples, and wrap my chest loosely with an Ace bandage* and come back in a week. No binder, no compression. Don’t lift anything heavy.
I didn’t get a good look at it until I got home and took my first post-surgery shower. It is strange to look at my “new” chest, because I always avoided looking at my old one. It is puffy, bruised, and a little uneven. There are two huge incisions across the front (duh). My nipples are in a different location than they were before; the left one has sensation. It is a masculine chest. A man’s chest, not a boy’s chest. A bit of a surprise.
I was able to pull on my favorite black T-shirt. I like how I look in it. I’ve got pecs. My belly doesn’t stick out. My hips don’t look like they are made of neon. I look butch and fit. I am very, very, happy with it.
Donna hasn’t seen me naked yet. I’m trying to be patient. She will look when she is ready. I hope she will like what she sees.
Notes: *When I started binding, everything I read said to never, ever, bind using Ace bandages. Use a binder designed for binding. Dr. Weiss told me I’m not trying to compress, just to hold everything in place and protect it.
At some point in the future I will write an uncharacteristically SEO friendly post on my top surgery experience; I don’t think enough time has elapsed to write a review yet and I’m still a little discombobulated from the surgery.